Autumn promises to still be warm and inviting, and there is no better venue for dinner than the area’s favorite restaurant, Vidalia, located in the heart of Lawrenceville at 21 Phillips Avenue. Ample parking is nearby, making Vidalia the ideal destination.

Chef and Owner Salvatore Scarlata took over this jewel box venue 13 years ago. Born and raised in Northern Italy, with Sicilian roots, he absorbed the secrets of both cuisines, melding the best of northern and southern Italian traditions together. At a young age, Salvatore took an interest in cooking. After gaining experience in his native Italy, he moved to the U.S. to refine his skills and develop his personal style.

Scarlata says, “Shortly after I moved to the States, I began working to perfect recipes, both the traditional ones I learned at home and ones that I had begun to develop myself. I honed my skills and when I was ready for a restaurant of my own, Vidalia’s quaint atmosphere and location was perfect. My motto has always been ‘Cucina Con Passione.’”

“My main goal is to satisfy every guest with perfect atmosphere, food, and service. These three are the touchstones of fine dining,” he declares.

“This summer I took my family back home and to Tuscany so that I could rediscover my culinary roots and learn the newest trends in Italian cuisine. Emphasis has always been on the freshest pasta, but dining is being distilled into its essence of small plates and leisurely savoring food along with family. I have returned with a renewed emphasis on a dining experience that highlights the freshest, seasonal produce. With harvest time here, my dishes will showcase heavier sauces dishes with seafood such as prawns and octopus. I also learned the traditional techniques of preserving sun-dried tomatoes and canning eggplant to brighten winter days.”

Vidalia focuses on a meal blending the finest flavors with a master’s deft touch. Diners consistently pause with the first bite to savor the complexity of tastes. Scarlata will keep many of his guests’ favorite dishes on the menu while incorporating the elegant dishes redefined during his summer in Tuscany.

Vidalia’s garden dining provides a warm atmosphere all year long. Having a party? Vidalia can accommodate 42 guests indoors or 45 guests outdoors for graduations, communions, or christenings.

“Dining is about appreciating food and its preparation and appreciating having the time to enjoy it with family,” says Scarlata. “We are looking forward to the upcoming holidays and are taking reservations now for events.”

Vidalia also offers innovative catering for your special occasions. Why put out the same old trays of tired sandwiches when you can delight guests with fresh salads such as organic spring mix lettuce with walnuts, Gorgonzola cheese, and apples, in a honey-infused balsamic vinaigrette; antipasti such as mushrooms stuffed with sausage or crabmeat or jumbo shrimp wrapped in bacon and topped with a cognac barbecue cream sauce; and nothing can beat handmade squid ink striped ravioli stuffed with lobster, topped with either champagne cream or blush sauce.

A romantic dinner for two or an elegant party for friends, Vidalia continues to be first choice among fine dining patrons. Reserve your table today.

Vidalia, 21 Phillips Avenue, Lawrenceville. 609-896-4444. www.vidalia.restaurant.

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